Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Jupiter Ascending (2015)
Two Days, One Night (2014)
"The movie affirms Sandra's existence, but in its affirmation it remains more a question than an exclamation point. It asks: How did we get here? How, out of all the ways in which society could have evolved, did we come to allow this system to define us?"
Still Alice (2015)
"A horror movie for gentlefolk: Its methodical terrors -- memory loss, disorientation -- seem all too likely, especially for mature moviegoers less worried about things that go bump in the night than the fall of night itself, so to speak."
The Missing Picture (2014)
"It is in the realization of its cultural distinctiveness -- the fruit of its young director's vision -- that the movie memorably separates itself from the other contra-'Twilight' vampire films that have haunted arthouses and VOD platforms in recent years."
A Most Violent Year (2015)
"'A Most Violent Year' is consistent with Chandor's previous films, the financial-crisis drama 'Margin Call' and the Robert Redford survivalist saga 'All Is Lost.' These all are portraits of men in crisis, threatened by disasters with a deadline."
Portrait of Jason (1967)
"Jason's surnames have a Dickensian interpretive quality: The invented 'Holliday' testifies to his wish for a life of celebrity ease, while birth-name 'Payne' seems appropriate to his stories of a rough Southern childhood and a stay in a 'nut house.'"
"Miyazaki dispenses endlessly quotable observations. For example: 'Filmmaking only brings suffering... How do we know movies are even worthwhile? If you really think about it, is this not just some grand hobby?'"
The Overnighters (2014)
Dinosaur 13 (2014)
"A thematic companion to Berlinger's 'Paradise Lost' trilogy, 'Whitey' is less a portrait of the 'hands-on killer who ran amok in the city of Boston for almost 30 years' than an expose of the misdeeds of law enforcement..."
"'I think we need some closure,' is the opening line, spoken by a therapist; the scene is played for parody, but in fact its message is sincere: 'Cake' is the all-too-familiar story of a sad person's healing process."
American Sniper (2015)
"Eastwood presents Kyle as a type of intuitive artist-filmmaker. Painstaking and passionate about his work, he peers through lenses, makes adjustments to the focus and framing and creates mini-narratives about the characters. He calls the shots, literally."
"Hemsworth and Tang Wei are pretty but boring. They are to the movie as a food bolus is to the esophagus, a painful blockage that should have been removed to make room for the much more digestible and flavorful team of Viola Davis and Wang Leehom."
"With its kitschy bald eagle sculpture, its lesbian-hosted Fourth of July party and its mid-robbery salute of a war veteran ('We appreciate your service'), the latest McCarthy road trip is a celebration of American opportunity but also a muddled misfire."
The Imitation Game (2014)
"A highly entertaining, immaculately produced drama about a genius-hero whose stiff-upper-lip resolve can't block a kick in the teeth when, years after the war, he is prosecuted for the 'crime' of homosexuality."
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
"Director Tom Harper frames the occasional lovely creepy shot, but the grayness is so enveloping it turns many night scenes and interiors into smoky blurs; the promising wartime themes similarly lose focus."
The Gambler (2014)
"Chockablock with interesting performances (Jessica Lange is the professor's wealthy mother, John Goodman is a Jabba-like loan shark) and silly self-indulgences (slow-motion pole-dancers gyrate to Dinah Washington's recording of 'This Bitter Earth')."
Inherent Vice (2015)
The Interview (2014)
"The movie more or less vaporizes the Supreme Leader in graphic slow motion... This is the special-effects shot heard 'round the world, judging by its reverberations in the arenas of entertainment, politics and the news media. "
Into the Woods (2014)
Big Eyes (2014)
"One song is performed by Annie and Stacks while they are strapped into seats in a helicopter, not a promising scenario for those who remember when even the most routine movie musicals were vehicles for choreography, athleticism and physical expression."
Flaming Star (1960)
Very Extremely Dangerous (2012)
"This harrowing documentary might be described as 'Grey Gardens' on the highway to hell -- it's a portrait of an ornery rockabilly old-timer-on-the-edge that is as funny as it is frightening and as compassionate as it is shocking."
"Scream Factory has issued 'Vault' uncut in America for the first time, on Blu-ray; the transfer restores several gruesome visual punch lines, including one involving Glynis Johns, gap-toothed Terry Thomas, and a hammer."
Tales From the Crypt (1972)
"The first killer Claus may be the 'homicidal maniac' in a Santa suit who menaces Christmas Eve murderess Joan Collins in this British anthology horror movie inspired by the EC horror comics of the 1950s."
Happy Christmas (2014)
White Christmas (1954)
The Babadook (2014)
Dolphin Tale 2 (2014)
Jingle Bell Rocks (2014)
Remote Area Medical (2014)
The Homesman (2014)
"A thoughtful Western that suggests insanity may be as logical a form of refuge, rebellion and self-expression as any for desperate women -- now as well as then? -- condemned to emotional isolation, unpaid hard labor and sexual servitude by loutish men."
"In transforming Katniss from victim/champion to icon and expanding the stakes from personal survival to political revolution, this third film sacrifices some of the metaphorical power of its teen-centric predecessors..."
"Wirkola finds room for at least one good sight gag (a zombie commandant becomes frustrated when he is unable to return a 'Sieg heil!' salute due to his chopped-off right arm) before he succumbs to the hee-haw bloodbath of the battle royale finale."
Who Took Johnny (2013)
"Like the team's earlier 'Horns and Halos,' which involved the George W. Bush presidency, this documentary suggests that the conventional world that most of us operate within is a phony if comforting illusion that hides a realm of privilege and horror. "
Time Lapse (2015)
Evolution Of A Criminal (2014)
Art and Craft (2014)